Republicans choose Commissioner McNeely to represent 84th N.C. House District

Posted at 9:23 PM on Jun 28, 2019

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BY STACIE LETT CAIN

County Commissioner Jeffrey McNeely was selected on Friday by Iredell Republicans to complete the term of retiring N.C. Rep. Rena Turner (R-84th).

Members of the GOP Executive Committee who live in the 84th House District chose McNeely during a special meeting at the Fraternal Orlder of Police Lodge. Iredell-Statesville Board of Education Bill Howell and Purple Heart Homes co-founder John Gallina were also considered.

“It is an honor to be able to fill this position,” McNeely said. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity.”

McNeely was elected by secret ballot after members of the committee asked the candidates a series of questions -- ranging from how much money they would raise during the 2020 campaign to why they were the best person to succeed Turner. The vote totals for each candidate were not made public.

Citing agriculture as the most important issue in Iredell County, McNeely vowed to serve with the same work ethic and integrity that he has brought to all aspects of his life, including his work as a commissioner and farmer.

He also vowed to use his “super power” as well.

“Both of the other nominees are veterans and I thank them both for their service,” McNeely explained. “But I have a super power. That super power is common sense and that is something society is missing.”

He pledged to put in long hours in his new position.

“In farming we get up early and we work until the work is done. We don’t punch a time clock,” he said. “I would approach this the same way.”

Drawing an endorsement from Rep. Turner, McNeely cited his dedication to serve others as a reason he felt himself the best person for the position.

“I serve others to leave a better world for those I care about,” he said emotionally. “I don’t believe in same-sex marriage but I believe in prayer before meetings. The government tells me I’m wrong in both of those. Republicans can’t afford any missteps here. There is too much at stake.”

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